nation’s approach to resilience. One path was that of investment in a long-term strategy of increasing the nation’s resilience through concerted collaboration and action on the part of governing bodies and the communities they serve. The other path was one of maintenance—where current policies and approaches are continued without a long-term view, and disasters are addressed in a reactive way as they arise. Although the first path toward increased resilience may be more expensive initially, other chapters have presented evidence that longer-term savings can result from such an approach.
Although improvements in the nation’s physical resilience (Chapters 2-4) are needed, the committee sees the interactions among and actions by the communities and governing bodies described in Chapters 5 and 6 as keys (the “engines”) to move resilience forward. The committee has observed and documented numerous cases of individual success (at the level of a community, a government agency, a city) in taking steps toward increasing resilience; however, Chapters 5 and 6 make evident the fact that the collective, national resilience “engine” is not running optimally to make significant advances in resilience across the country.
Table 7.1 attempts to capture visually some of the key interactions within the nation’s resilience system by identifying specific kinds of policies that can increase resilience and the roles and responsibilities of those in government, the private sector, and communities for acting on these policies. The purpose of the table is two-fold: (1) it attempts to visualize in a relatively simple way the complex interactions and dependencies in the community resilience system—one that combines bottom-up and top-down approaches; and (2) it attempts to show policy areas where the nation is currently making some progress toward communicating or implementing a type of resilience-building policy. By framing some of the collective responsibilities and identifying some of the gaps in the collaborative resilience network, the committee aims to help direct future discussion among these various stakeholders toward those areas of resilience building that may need most immediate attention.